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The Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild held their biennial Quilting Unlimited weekend at Washtenaw Community College this past weekend, July 29-30. They offered classes in just about every thing you can image that is quilt related.

On Friday, I attended the class, Free Motion Feathers. It was a wonderful class targeted to those with some machine quilting experience. This was perfect for me. I have already taken some machine quilting classes and have been machine quilting all my work for several years, so I already know the basics. I was interested in picking up some finer points and learning some tips for better control. This class provided both of those, so I was very happy to have attended.

We started by learning to make the basic feather in various shapes. Here is a photo of my paractice piece:

I think the feather is the hardest motif to machine quilt with all its tight curves and backtracking. It requires a lot of control. It became apparent to me as I practiced, that I needed a little help. Several people suggested quilting gloves. Most of the students had some and I tried on several pairs. The gloves really help to grip the fabric. I could tell the difference right away.

Here is a close up of my favorite feather on this practice piece:

After practicing the basic feather we moved on to making feathers in different shapes. We were given a practice piece with the shapes already penciled in and asked to fill each space with a feather. Here is what I did:

Notice how much space I left between the plumes. I need to work on that.

Lastly, we learned some funky feathers:

I like the third one from the left and the last one the best.